Since 1978 I have been fortunate to sail wooden boats. In 2006 I set out to find a Drascombe Longboat Cruiser for single-handed expedition sailing. This is the continuing story of how it came to be, our adventures, notes on the maritime world and other things I don't want to forget...

Thursday, October 17, 2019


Sunday October 6

Steve came over as I was finishing breakfast, we rafted up for a bit and then sailed down the creek to start working up the Chester River. Reaching on the west wind we made good time... nearly matched in speed. We made the marina in Chestertown in early afternoon. Steve planned to take a slip and I agreed to do the same. He showed me around town and we ate lunch at Play It Again Sam's and later a crab cake dinner at the dock restaurant. A quiet night spent at the marina.  17.5 miles

Spartina heading up river

Buy-out AnnieD on the Chester

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Across and Up

October 5, 2019

I decided for a fall cruise I would head north to Maryland's Chesapeake western shore, cross over and explore the eastern shore north of my previous trips. Having Annie in Richmond made it easy to get away early, so I left out at 5am and trailed to Shady Side. I arrived at Backyard Boats and took my time to rig and ready Annie. The trailer repairs had held well and I was satisfied with the preparations. There was even a hose to rinse the trailer after launch.

We headed out the cove around 10 am and across the bay. Wind 8-10 NE overcast. Long reach ESE around Kent Point and long tacks up the Eastern Bay to Kent Narrows. Entering the Chester River in the late afternoon my friend Steve, who had been out for a week, communicated about the possibility of a rendezvous in the East Fork of Langford Creek. I had decided to tuck in earlier but with the sky clearing and a nice ENE breeze I forged on. It was almost dark as Annie approached Steve's Spartina, buttoned up for the night. I dropped anchor down the way and turned in after a long day.  46.0 miles

Spartina in for the night

Friday, September 13, 2019


Annie's trailer came with her when I took delivery 12 years ago. It has hauled her a couple thousand miles and has been a good one for sure. But as you probably know galvanized steel fittings don't last forever.

The roller pins were shot and the bunk supports were rusting through. I deduced that the front rollers were taking the brunt and that by repositioning her a foot aft, the load would be better balanced. So a lot of metal grinding, sawzalling (there's a word for you) and online and store shopping commenced.

John England, who is in my opinion the best for just about anything 'boat', lifted and chocked Annie. I was then able to pull out the trailer and start disassembling. I have another day in Urbanna to finish but it has turned out to be an enjoyable, albeit dirty, job that is going to make a lot of difference and open up another adventure later this fall.

Trailer extraction


The bunk came off to easy

Left: old, right: new

Monday, May 27, 2019

Old Article

Looking through the bookcase I found this old article that reminded me of good times. Thought I would add it to this log so as not to misplace again...

Sunday, May 26, 2019


May 20 Thursday

We pulled out around 0800 just as Steve Earley was pulling up to launch Spartina. We all chatted and he rigged as we made ready for the road. With a goodbye to Conway, Noah drove us back to Richmond. I opted for the backroads and to head home so I could have my workshop to make a number of repairs. It was a good week with near perfect weather. Looking forward to another adventure with Noah. I think he might be up for it.

Loaded for the Tow Home
(photo by Steve Earley)
Trip total 248 SMiles, 216 NM

Friday, May 24, 2019

Stretching Out the Glide

May 20 Thursday     5th day on water

Out Bath Creek at 0900. Caught ESE breeze up Pamlico River. Made Little Washington at 1400, hungry. Tied up at city dock and went into town for lunch of fish and crab cakes. Full house and quite noisy. We walked north to find engine oil and returned to Annie to cast off. Had dropped off appreciably and needed to motor 1/3 of the return. Wind picked up again from SSE 10-12 kts. Made the creek entrance at twilight and anchored in the creek past Potters Marine for the night.

A great place to be

Across from our anchorage

Daily total 39 NMiles, 45 SMiles

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Sleigh Ride

May 19 Thursday     4th day on water

0800 North on Broad Creek and through Turnagain Bay. Wind ESE light. Reached out east of Prohibited Area. Considered another attempt at Ocracoke, thought better of it and anchored mid- Pamlico Sound for a nice swim at 1200.

Noah at the helm

Broad reach NW toward mouth of Pamlico River. Wind increased to 15 with 20 gusts. Ran up the river full sail, wing and wing as the tide turned in our favor. Surfing down 2-3 ft waves with the rig humming. Recorded  8.9 knot max over the bottom.

Up the Pamlico River

Wing and wing

Chose Durham Creek on the south shore to anchor for the night but decided not due to adjacent paper mill. Continued west to Bath Creek and dropped inside at 2015 hrs. Katmandu Curry for dinner. Quite a snappy day.

Daily total 47 NMiles , 54 SMiles

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Colorless Markers

Wednesday May 8

Another still morning. I look down into clear blue water and then pan across a long ribbon of sand. Fifty yards or so away a small tent is set up. It's early but the two young inhabitants are alternately walking back and forth from the site to the inlet edge with fish they are pulling in one after another. Before long, small boats are anchoring nearby their spot to get in on the action.

We heated up Breakfast Skillet and have a cup of coffee with a dash of Irish. Determined to not run aground we start back to the entrance buoy and begin winding into the bight south toward anchored sailboats in the distance. Having read that there were channel changes after the somewhat recent hurricanes, I asked a fisherman if it was clear through to Core Banks. He affirmed and we pressed on.

Motored until turning north by the lighthouse then caught the ESE breeze that was picking up. Moved into Core Sound and saw that all the charted markers on the seaward side were bare except for a black and white sign stating Danger Shoaling. The reds and greens had been removed. We were making good way and keeping well to port just in case. Broad reach and close-hauled the entire sound. Intense sun encouraged us to cover up, towels coming in handy.

Cape Lookout Light

Core Sound

By 1500 we had passed the fishing village of Atlantic and decided to abort a previous idea to continue NNE to Ocracoke. It would be dark by the time we would make our approach and that seemed risky. Instead we ran up into Thorofare Bay and the canals by Cedar Island. The SE wind funneled up the route and only needed to motor through the short Old Canal. Anchored far up Broad Creek at 1900 and enjoyed a beautiful night.

Along Old Canal

Time out

Day total  42 NM, 48 SM

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

South to the Ocean

Tuesday May 7

Woke in a still creek. After oatmeal and coffee we motored out under the bridge and into the Neuse River heading south. Picked up a slight breeze from the north and slowly tacked off the wind toward Adams Creek and the cut beyond. This route is part of the Intracoastal Waterway. The northerly held and we sailed, mostly wing and wing the entire way to Beaufort.

Wake up call

It was a sunny day and the temp climbed, encouraging Noah to take a swim. I threw a line over but as he was towed Annie all but stopped. So Noah had a good swim abeam as we slipped along. The run was nice and uneventful... most of the big yachts slowing as we sailed past.

The ditch opened into Core Creek and then the Newport River before going under the new bridge into Beaufort. When we arrived we tied up at the courtesy dock, refilled a water jug and went through the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Returning to the boat I checked the tides and noticed that it would be slack in the inlet in 30 minutes, 1545. It was still early afternoon so we decided to head for Point Lookout.

The wind had clocked around and was 15 kt ESE with 20 gusts. Once we had made #10 sea buoy double-reefed, we started tacking close hauled into the wind. Seas were running 4-5 feet with easy intervals. After a couple of short tacks east I reckoned that if we were going to make the inlet inside Cape Lookout we needed to tack out far. The first took us offshore 5.5 miles and on the return tack to Shackleford Banks we were half way to our easterly goal. The next set took us to the entrance marker as the sun set at 1945.


After running aground inside and pulling off we anchored close behind a fresh spit that had formed near the entrance. Ate and slept well.

Calm behind the spit

Day total 40.9 nm, 47 sm

Friday, May 17, 2019

First Day on the Water

Monday May 6

Up and out North Creek at 0700. Continued out Pamlico River on beam reach with wind north, 10kt. Cleared river into Pamlico Sound as wind increased to 15 kt. Tracked SE on broad reach to skirt bombing range. About 9 miles away from land we started south running double reefed in a 3' chop with many white caps... I reckoned Force 5. Yawing and surfing.

Passed by Bay River as the wind tapered down. Ran downwind wing and wing with poles set. Noah a bit seasick due to yawing. Continued south into Neuse River and docked at Oriental at 1900. Went onshore for tea and then anchored up Greens Creek for the night.

Day total 46.5 NMiles, 53.5 SMiles

SE into Pamlico Sound

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Slight Wrinkle

Sunday May 5

I picked up Noah at 0830 and we headed to Urbanna to get Annie. Hitched up we headed south over the York River and then the James. Just as we were entering North Carolina I noticed the trailer vibrating. I pulled into a dirt parking area next to an abandoned Ruritan Club to inspect. The port side wheel bearing had given up and the hub was smoking. My first thought was that the trip might be over. But we took the jack from the 4Runner and with cement blocks found by the building we were able to get the wheel off and then the hub. The spindle was undamaged and we hastily bagged up the parts and drove back north to an automotive store that was still open for an hour or so.

As we got closer we saw another closer store. Skeptically I asked if they had any parts and the man turned toward the shelves and set down the whole hub assembly, packed with grease. It even had new lug nuts. Noah grabbed a grease gun and a cartridge and we started back south. I was feeling a lot better.

Everything went smoothly and we were back on the road with only two hours lost. Luck was on our side.

We reached Potter's Marine at 1730 and after launching we went to Bath for a meal. On our return we barely got the cockpit tent up when a downpour set in. By the time it abated it was dark so we stayed overnight at the dock.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Switch Off

Returned to Richmond on Sunday after a rippin' trip through the North Carolina Inner Banks with Noah. As we were coming in, Steve, a great friend and the skipper of Spartina, pulled in to launch. He is currently beating his way into Oriental harbor. Check him out at the Log of Spartina.

I will be reporting on our trip in a few days...

Friday, April 26, 2019

Mobjack and a Repair

My nephew Noah and I sailed the Mobjack last week. Put in at Mathews town ramp 1100 Wednesday April 17 and motor sailed down the East River. We reached east on a N wind and got behind New Point Comfort Light for a few photos and then beat over to the beach attempting to go ashore. The tide was low and after bottoming out 50 yards off we turned and ran back across the bay south. I set up poles and we continued wing and wing toward the Severn River. By 1630 it seemed prudent to start for an anchorage and we chose the North River. With the wind on the beam Annie was giving her all. With two foot waves on the quarter and a decent wavelength she was making 6.5-7 knots over the bottom as the tide started in.

Noah at the helm

Crossing the bay again we worked up the North past Mobjack Bay Marina and found a quiet cove that I had anchored in a couple years ago. Noah got a sculling lesson, we cooked up the 'old go to' beef stroganoff, played a couple hands of rummy with a bottle passed, and turned in... me in my down below warren and Noah in the cockpit under Annie's tent. Great sailing day.

We headed back down river the next morning with less wind and a number of leisurely tacks. It gave us time to tell stories and to help him with sailing terminology and more about how the boat works. He was at the tiller a lot, we ran aground a couple times and I believe the bug started taking hold. As we broad reached back up the East River to haul out, we decided he would go on the upcoming North Carolina trip in May. I think it will be fun.

Today I drove to Urbanna to check on Annie and replace the centerplate line. The line is made off on a drum that is keyed to an axle that is wrapped with webbing attached to the head of the plate. It went pretty smooth after I got the top of the trunk off. The line had worn thin and the cam cleat, that is mounted on the cockpit coaming, wasn't able to hold it from slipping. I'm feeling better about it now and looking forward to the upcoming spring trip.

Friday, April 12, 2019


Spring is here with trees leafing, flowers popping out, pollen coating everything and warm gusty breezes blowing. A North Carolina Outer Banks trip in early May is being planned and nephew Noah is hankering for a overnight... his first. This Wednesday is looking good work and weather wise. I am thinking that trailering Annie down to the Mobjack and exploring the rivers again would be just the ticket.
Gave Noah a second hand copy of the Complete Sailor last week. Hope he is digging in and finding it as exciting to get the first tastes of sailing as I did when I was his age.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

First Overnight of the Season

Annie is back in shape after a winter at John and Vera's. She looked good uncovered as we pulled up to Urbanna Town Marina to launch. Had to wait a bit for the tide to rise but once overboard and tied up I gave the outboard a couple of tugs and we were off  into Urbanna Harbor, around the cut and into the Rappahannock for a nice afternoon sail. That night I anchored and had a cold 'two-sleeping bag' night. Next day I picked up nephew Noah for another nice sail over to Corratoman Creek and on to Rappahannock Yachts near Irvington to walk the yard. Noah is real interested in sailing and I'm glad to be sharing.

Old Trusty

Noah bringing us in

A couple days ago a friend brought over Wooden Boat magazines. Forty years of them, back to the first issue in 1974. I didn't start reading them until '77 but learned a lot especially from Bud McIntosh and others who illustrated boatbuilding or how to care for a boat. There seemed to be more of that type of article way back, and less commercialism. Now.. what to do with them. Maybe some clipping is in order.

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